Skip to main content

NY Generator December 2023

Social share icons

In this issue:

CWA Local 1101 Executive Board Election

Joe Connolly Remembrance

We are Always Organizing!

CWA Local 1101 Executive Board Election

Post Production Coordinators Reach Tentative Agreement

IGT Workers Mobilize and Win a Good Contract

Meet our new Local 1101 Chief Stewards

Massive Broadband Build Planned -  We Want To Do It with Union Labor

Adjuncts at LIU Post Ratify New Contract

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Legislative Victory! Captive Audience Law Enacted

Unity@Mobility Trainings Going Strong

CWA Reversing Runaway Inequality Training - why is the 1% growing while workers are struggling?

Our CWA Local 1101 Retired Members Council is Always Active

Standing in Solidarity

Labor Day & African American Day Parades

CWA Local 1101 Executive Board Election

CWA Local 1101 held elections for the Executive Board in the fall of 2023. Two new positions were added to the Executive Board in a by-laws vote in March of 2023 - a Business Agent at Large and a directly elected Executive Vice President. Under the prior by-laws the EVP was named by the President from one of four elected regional Vice Presidents.

All of the Executive Board positions, including the two new positions, had just one person running and were filled by acclamation. The CWA Local 1101 Executive Board for 2024-2026:

Keith Purce, President

Kevin Condy, Secretary-Treasurer

Al Russo, Executive Vice President

Michael Baxter, Vice President Northern

Maureen Adams, Vice President Commercial

Jerome Paredes, Vice President Bronx

Bill Stefandel, Vice President Southern

Afori Bobb, Business Agent Northern Commercial

Josey Diomede, Business Agent Central

Peter Ficorelli, Business Agent Southern (new)

Keith Hogarty, Business Agent at Large (new)

Susan Nicholas, Business Agent Eastern Commercial

Ken Spatta, Business Agent Bronx

Peter Torres, Business Agent Northern

Heather Trainor, Business Agent AT&T Mobility

All the officers will be sworn in January 3, 2024. We are proud to represent you. Thank you for your support.

Joe Connolly Remembrance

On November 8, 2023, former President of Local 1101, Joe Connolly passed away. “Joe will be fondly remembered by everyone who knew him,” President Keith Purce said.

Joe started at the phone company in 1962. He was elected Executive Division Steward for Western (Manhattan) in 1971 on the Ed Dempsey slate, and Vice President for North & Western in 1973. Joe served as Executive Vice President from 1975 to 1999, when he was elected President. He was President of CWA Local 1101 from 2000-2011. “He was a passionate and dedicated union leader who knew the contract inside and out,” Purce said.

“My Dad started at the phone company right out of high school,” Joe’s son Mickey Connolly said. Mickey, a Field Technician at the 39 St Verizon Fios garage, is a third generation phone company worker. “He was very proud of the union, and what it meant for the members to be able to better provide for their children.”

Joe was EVP during the four month 1989 strike. “I remember coming home one day during the 1989 strike and my dad was very somber. I said ‘what’s wrong’. He said, ‘this company has no idea what they’re doing to the members and their families’.

“I can’t tell you how much the strength of the union, and making sure members got what they deserved in terms of their benefits, pay, and bettering their lives, what that meant to him”, Mickey said. That sense of responsibility extended beyond work. “My Dad got an award for saving our next door neighbor’s life,” Mickey recalled. "The firefighters had to come through our house with their hoses. My dad found Pete unconscious and pulled him out.”

Vinny Russo was a Chief Steward at West 18th Street during the 2000 strike against Verizon, and was one of a number of union activists unjustly fired after the strike. He talked about what a difficult decision it was when the company finally said they’d take him back - without backpay or his time bridged. “It was a really tough time,” Vinny said. “Joe wanted me to speak to different people, to make sure I got all sides. He was willing to support me either way.” Vinny ultimately got his job back, with back pay and time bridged. “I had a great deal of respect and admiration for Joe. He was a great man and great president.”

“As much as the union meant to him, his family meant every bit more,” Mickey said, speaking of his Mom and his three siblings Joe, Denise, Robert, and himself. “He was always looking to provide for us, and help us better ourselves. I always felt I could talk to him about anything. We all looked up to him for guidance, we saw the responsibility that he took on as president of the union. He had that way about him. People looked up to my dad for leadership. His family did very much too.”

Rest in Peace Joe Connolly. Thank you for your many years of hard work and dedication to our union.

We are Always Organizing!
OSD Utilities

On October 8th, the 25 workers at OSD Utilities joined CWA Local 1101 when the company agreed to voluntarily recognize the union. OSD is a sub-contractor of ASG, which Verizon contracts to complete finishing work - including concrete, slabs and cement curves - during FIOS buildouts. CWA Local 1101 EVP Al Russo and Business Agents elect Keith Hogarty and Pete Ficorelli worked on this campaign and negotiated a first contract.

Columbia University Fire Safety Officers

Fire Safety Officers at Columbia University voted 21-0 in a National Labor Relations Board election to join CWA Local 1101 on October 12. The Fire Safety team is responsible for fire safety at all Columbia University locations. Fire Safety officers Bridgette Perez and Rey Colon, together with EVP Al Russo, Business Agent elect Keith Hogarty and Chief Steward Andre Segarra will start bargaining with Columbia on a first contract soon.

March For Our Lives

March For Our Lives (MFOL) is a youth-led organization born out of a tragic school shooting. The 15 employees at MFOL joined CWA Local 1101 on September 20, 2023 when the employer agreed to recognize the union. MFOL promotes civic engagement, education, and direct action by youth to eliminate the epidemic of gun violence. The union and MFOL held a first bargaining session in November.

Calyx Institute

On October 12th the ten workers at the Calyx Institute became new members of CWA Local 1101 when the employer agreed to recognize the union. The Calyx Institute's mission is to educate the public about privacy in digital communications and develop tools that anyone can use to build "privacy by design" into their internet access. The union and Calyx held a first bargaining session in November.

Post Production Coordinators Reach Tentative Agreement

In May of 2022, a group of Post Production Coordinators in the entertainment industry who work in and around New York City voted to join CWA Local 1101. We began bargaining with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in late 2022.

After a long a strike by SAG/AFTRA against the AMPTP which caused delays in our Post Production Bargaining, we’re happy to announce we’ve reached a Tentative Agreement.  This agreement meets all of the most pressing demands the Union made throughout bargaining, including wages, sick time, holidays and benefits. We’ll be meeting with the membership shortly and put the agreement out for a vote in the coming days.

The Bargaining Team includes CWA Local 1101 VP Mike Baxter, Business Agent elect Keith Hogarty, Post Production Coordinators Jill Christiano, Christopher Clemente and Lauren Orban, District 1 Area Director John Dempsey and Staff Representative Wayne Poole.

IGT Workers Mobilize and Win a Good Contract

 CWA Local 1101 represents the workers who fix International Game Technology (IGT) machines in three New York casinos - Resorts World in Queens, Empire City Casino in Yonkers, and Jake's 58 in Islandia.

When bargaining started IGT refused to agree to fair wage increases for the workers, despite revenue of $4.2 billion in 2022. After months of the company stalling, we took it to the street - the casino actually - and held a rally at Resorts World. Local 1101 members from Verizon came out to support our IGT siblings with a rowdy protest.

“The mobilization definitely sped up the bargaining process,” said Dino Corossis, IGT shop steward for Resorts World NYC and Jake’s 58 casino. “The company stepped up because of the mobilization. We showed them we were all together.”  

“Resorts World called the union during the protest and anxiously met us at the bargaining table soon afterward,” Business Agent Ken Spatta, said. The company agreed to significant wage increases, a fair wage progression progress and carry-over vacations.

Local 1101 IGT showed the same solidarity to Data Center Operators of Colorado in the final week before their vote as they faced harsh union busting from IGT management. The Colorado workers ultimately prevailed in winning their union vote.

Meet our new Local 1101 Chief Stewards

Tone Acevedo is a new Chief at Verzion Randall Avenue garage in the Bronx. Together with Chief Victor Pena, Tone represents the pressure and cable maintenance groups. Tone has 33 years at Verizon. He started as a splicers helper, became a splicer, worked in Northern Manhattan high tech cable maintenance, as a Fios tech, and is back to Bronx cable maintenance. When he’s off Tone likes to hang out with his guys from work, who are ‘basically family’.

Scott Barnhart is a Chief Steward for AT&T Mobility. He’s a Retail Sales Consultant and has been there 17 years. Last November Scott became Chief for the AT&T Mobility Work from Home members - Premier Service Consultants - together with JR Chinemerem and Nikki Roberts. Scott also represents members at AT&T Mobility retail stores in Manhattan. When he’s not at work Scott likes to read and travel.

Darell Bush is the new Chief Steward for Broad, West, and Varick Street Field Technicians and escorts. Darell has 28 years at Verizon. He started at 140 West St as a temporary trunk assignor, became a COT tester, and then came out to the field. When he’s not at work Darell likes to ride his motorcycle.

Vanessa Eleam is the new Chief Steward for the Verizon 132 St Fios garage in Manhattan. She’s also the first female outside plant Chief at Local 1101. Vanessa has 24 years at Verizon and represents the field technicians and escorts at 132 St. She started as a field tech at 1101 Zerega in the Bronx, and has been at 132 St since 2000. When she’s not at work she likes volunteering at her daughter’s dance school.

Sal Friscia is the Chief Steward at Johnson Street garage in Staten Island. Sal represents the Field Techs in tone and mark, splicing, cable maintenance and line gang. When he’s not at work Sal spends his time volunteering with animal rescue organizations on Staten Island.

Rob Preston is the Chief Steward at the Verizon Jerome Avenue garage in the Bronx. Rob represents the Field techs and escorts in Fios, Specials, and Core and the storekeepers at Jerome Ave. Rob started at Verizon in 1994 as a cable splicer at the 1101 Zerega Avenue garage. He likes to play basketball and used to run basketball tournaments for co-workers in the Bronx.

Sean Santiago is a new Chief Steward at the AT&T Mobility call center in Paramus, New Jersey. Sean has been at the call center for 18 years, first in the National Business Call Center as an E-Team specialist, and now as a fraud analyst. Together with Chief Steward Nikki Roberts, Sean represents all the reps in the Paramus Call Center. Sean is the first transgender Chief for Local 1101, is an artist and likes to play video games when he’s not at work.

Lashawn Sharpe is the new Chief Steward for Logistics. Lashawn represents storekeepers and drivers throughout Manhattan. Lashawn has 27 years at Verizon. She started at 116 Sixth Avenue as an office assistant, moved to East 37 St as a storekeeper, and now works at 544 West 39 St. When she’s not at work Lashawn likes to read, read, read.

 Chief Steward elections are in October of each odd-numbered year.

Not new, but New to 1101
John Camera is a Materiel Systems Technician and Chief Steward for the Verizon Network Installation group, Central Office Technicians, Power techs, and watch engineers in Staten Island. John has been at Verizon for 24 years, and Chief for 12 years. The Network Installation team installs the equipment in Central Offices that power the network. When he’s not doing that, John likes to watch sports. Which ones? All of them!

Jason Stampfel is Chief Steward for the Verizon Edgewater Street Fios garage in Staten Island, which covers the north and New Dorp Central Offices. John’s got 27 years at Verizon. He started at Edgewater as a Field Technician doing copper Installation & Repair, then moved into Fios I/R. Jason represents the Field Techs, mechanic and storekeeper at Edgewater. When he’s not at work he likes to spend time with his daughters, and watching sports, especially the Yankees.

 Greg Wallace is Chief Steward for the Arthur Kill Road garage in Staten Island. He’s been an Installation and Maintenance Tech for almost 25 years. Greg represents the I/M techs at Arthur Kill, who cover the South and West Central Offices in Staten Island. Greg’s been a Chief since 2021. When he’s not dealing with work issues, he’s probably playing his guitar.

Massive Broadband Build Planned -  We Want To Do It with Union Labor

The U.S. is about to embark on the biggest publicly funded broadband build in history, and CWA members want to make sure it’s done right - by skilled union workers and not fly-by-night contractors. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes $65 billion investment for broadband nationally, with $43 billion allocated for Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD). President Biden’s stated goal - connect every person in the country to affordable high speed internet, and create good union jobs in the process.

In 2021 CWA put together a national Broadband Brigade of members who work at Verizon, AT&T, Frontier, Lumen and other telecoms. The goal - get the people with real world experience in the field into the rooms where the decisions about how the money will be spent are made.

Locally, Pam Galpern (Local 1101) and Nick Hoh (Local 1104) co-chair District 1’s Broadband Brigade, which includes 15 members from across New York State - line workers, splicers, installation & repair, and central office technicians. Last week representatives from the NYS & National Brigades met with Biden administration officials at the White House - Mitch Landrieu, Assistant to the President for Infrastructure, Don Graves, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, and Alan Richardson, Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Communications & Information and the person in charge of BEAD funding.

Every state had to submit an Initial Proposal in December. We delivered more than 5000 petition signatures and support letters from 122 legislators to the NYS decision-maker last month. And we got results. When NYS released its Initial Proposal it included CWAs demands for priority for employers with a directly employed local workforce, Fiber-to-the-home preference, and binding workforce plans on training, safety and labor standards. In other words, we want these jobs to be good union jobs.

The bidding process and funding decisions will happen in 2024, with construction set to begin in early 2025. BEAD money is designated nationally for unserved areas (less than 25 Mbps available) and underserved (less than 100 Mbps). In New York State that’s mostly rural areas upstate. But there are an estimated million people in New York City who don’t have access to affordable high speed internet, with more in Long Island and Westchester. We’ve working to make sure those areas are part of the statewide effort to connect everyone. We’re in the early stages of a long process, we’ll keep you posted.

Broadband brigade members meeting with Alan Richardson, Deputy Secretary for Commerce for Communications and Information and the NTIA Administrator in charge of BEAD funding.

Adjuncts at LIU Post Ratify New Contract

Adjunct Professors at LIU Post ratified a five-year agreement in November, 2023. The University put up a lot of resistance, but ultimately we won significant changes. The contract includes wage increase every year of the agreement, improvements to the promotion process which require the University to meet with union representatives if promotions are denied, and improvements to the grievance procedure, including much needed language on Just Cause

“We fought to get just cause language in every prior contract negotiation with LIU Post,” Jerome Paredes, Local 1101 VP said. “It’s been a major point of contention that the University refused to include it. We were not going to leave these negotiations until we won it. And we did.”

Joe Ida, a new steward, is an Adjunct Professor at LIU Post and teaches in the graduate nursing department. He said the new language will make a big difference. “It will clarify how the promotion process works. When you get hired no-one discusses that with you.” He also talked about the impact the just cause language will have. “It’s big. Before, you felt at will to the department heads, even if you’re been there a long time. Having a union presence is excellent. As an adjunct, you’re the junior partner in everything. Having a union makes you feel part of something, worth something, and that your voice can be heard.”

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Our Local 1101 Women's Committee raised more than $13,000 at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in the Bronx in October. And we had a great time doing it. Join us next year! If you're intersted in joining the Women's Committee contact Committee Chairs Heather Trainor ( or Josey Diomede (

Legislative Victory!

Why wouldn’t workers want to join a union? Because employers illegally intimidate them out of it!

One of the most common tactics bosses use to intimate workers organizing a union are captive audience meetings, where employers make all kinds of threats and false claims about how terrible the union will be for workers. CWA has been working to get legislation passed in New York since 2019, making it illegal for employers to require workers to attend captive audience meetings. And we did it!

The Captive Audience Law went into effect in September, 2023. Members’ hard work and testimonies to legislators got a bill passed that protects workers from being forced to attend captive audience meetings.

If you're interested in getting involved with the Local's legislative work contact Local 1101 Legislative-Political Coordinator Mike Basso at

Unity@Mobility Trainings Going Strong

In late November twenty new members who work at AT&T Mobility retail stores participated in a Unity@Mobility training at Local 1101. They work in stores throughout Long Island, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan and came together to learn about the union. How can the union help if you have a problem at work? What should you do if your manager asks you to do something that’s against AT&T policy, or the union contract?

For the new members at the training, this was their first union experience. “Members who came were happy to learn about the union”, said Chief Steward Tiffany Rosario. “We talk about how they’re entitled to extra pay if they’re doing management duties, how the attendance and performance plans work, and how to navigate difficult situations. They don’t have to suffer through months of dealing with something that we can help them with right away.”

Tiffany, together with Chief Stewards Muhammad Abdulkhabir and Cheryce Chambers, are Unity@Mobility trainers for members who work at AT&T Mobility stores.

The next in-person Unity@Mobility training is Wednesday, December 20th. Contact your Steward or Chief if you’re interested in participating.

Chief Stewards Scott Barnhart, JR Chinemerem and Nicole Watson (zoom photo below) run the virtual Unity@Mobility trainings for members who work from home. They’ve trained 120 AT&T Mobility work from home members in the last year. “One more class and then we’ll be at 100%,” Scott said. He shared members’ takeaways from recent trainings: “We learned what the union stands for”; “Always get your stewards involved”; “Solidarity is key to making the union work”; “I learned to stand firm and use my rights and support one another”.

Click here for info on the next Unity@Mobility training for Work from Home members.

CWA Reversing Runaway Inequality Training - why is the 1% growing while workers are struggling?

CWA Reversing Runaway Inequality training is a crash course in the growing inequality gap between the super rich and ordinary workers. What happened to the American working class? How did we get to a place where CEO's make 800x what their workers do? How does the 1% use race to divide workers? What are examples of political actions that CWA members are taking to combat inequality? These are the questions CWA members from Locals 1101, 1104, 1106 and 1109 wrestled with a RRI training in Levittown, Long Island in October. 

Levittown training

Kim Marshall, Shop Steward at 132 St, became a District 1 Reversing Runaway Inequality (RRI) trainer after going through a trainers’ course in Minneapolis. Kim facilitated a training in Albany with CWA Local 1118 Verizon and Local 1104 GSEU members in November. “I think the training helps put things in perspective. We all know the system is rigged, we just don’t know how. To actually see how is very eye opening.”

Reversing Runaway Inequality Training, Albany NY. Trainers: Kim Marshall (1101), Chris O'Shea (1104), Jason Gonzalez (1109).

Our CWA Local 1101 Retired Members Council is Always Active

Local 1101 retired members are finishing up another busy year­—joining the SAG-AFTRA strike at picket lines and rallies, catching a Yankee game with CWA, joining the Labor Day and African- American Day parades, meeting on-line via Zoom and in person at the Local.

If you retired from Local 1101, 1102, or 1105, then our CWA Local 1101 RMC is your retiree chapter. If you’ve moved away, you can stay in touch through our on-line meetings, emails, and (soon) text messages. We have active retirees in our chapter checking in from Hawaii, Greece, Florida, Arizona, western New York State, and Pennsylvania.

Near or far, stay up-to-date about your benefits, support our Local and our union, and help keep an eye on those politicians who want to “save” Social Security and Medicare by shrinking payments. For more information go to the Local 1101 website and click on Retired Members Council, call the Local at 212-633-2666, and check out our Facebook page.

Standing in Solidarity

It’s been a big year for strikes and an exciting year for labor. More private sector workers went on strike this year than in any year since 2011 - 453,000 by early October. Teamsters at UPS won a groundbreaking contract with major gains for part-time and full-time workers by showing the company they were ready to strike. Workers in the TV and movie industries won groundbreaking contracts with language on Artificial Intelligence and streaming fees after strikes by SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild. Auto workers struck the Big 3 automakers and won huge gains in wages, eliminating wage tiers, and gains at electric vehicle plants. Thousands of non-union auto workers across the country are signing union cards to join the UAW. Journalists and media workers across the country are organizing and striking with the NewsGuild/CWA in record numbers.

CWA Local 1101 is right there with them. standing in solidarity with our union siblings across New York.

Labor Day Parade 2023

African American Day Parade 2023

Our Local Equity Committee organized an amazing day for 1101 members and families at the African American Day Parade this year. If you're interested in joining the Committee, contact Committee Chairs Susan Nicholas ( or Afori Bobb (

That's our fall/winter round up. Happy holidays and happy new year all. On to 2024!